India’s Diksha Dagar fired an opening round of 65 (-7) on the first day of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open at Dromoland Castle.

Report by the LET

Diksha Dagar, the two-time LET winner, was bogey-free on day one of the KPMG Women's Irish Open as she began her round on the 10th tee.

Dagar rolled in back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 before doing it again on holes 15 and 16 and she made three further birdies on holes two, five and nine to lead on seven-under-par.

“It has been a long season, I was taking one shot at a time and not taking it too seriously today,” said the Indian star, who is fifth in the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol.

“I had seven birdies; I had a good day and I’m happy to see myself keeping with the good momentum that I’ve got.

“I am still very good from tee to the green, but at the beginning of the season, I was struggling on the greens. It was a matter of time; I have been practicing a lot, taking one shot at a time and reading the lines and I have improved in my putting.

“I was thinking this golf course is tough, so I just took it one shot at a time because every shot counts. It was a good day and very surprising. I have been having the same mentality and every year my game improves and so does my thinking process. The more you play, the better you get.”

American Gurleen Kaur and France’s Emma Grechi sit in a tie for second place on six-under-par at Dromoland Castle.

Kaur, who is in her rookie season on the LET, had only one dropped shot on her scorecard and rolled in seven birdies for her round of 66.

“It was good, I putted really well, and I was able to hit the ball well,” said Kaur. “I actually didn’t play the par-fives that well, so I feel I left a couple out there, but otherwise it was a really good starting day.

“In a couple of places, I had more spin than I thought I was going to. It was very much on and off with the rain, but overall, I think we got pretty lucky and it wasn’t heavy at all. It felt like a good day, and it got hot when the same came out.

“I felt good about my game, I was coming in with no expectations because I haven’t been playing much LET this year. I was supposed to in May, and I got injured a little bit and decided to stay and play more Epson events.

“I played well last week, a top-15 finish so I was feeling pretty good and I played better than I thought. The practice round was playing really tough, it was windy and rainy, so it just felt like it was overall a good day.”

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Grechi began her day on the 10th tee and had a bogey on 14th but bounced back with an eagle on the next hole.

The Frenchwoman then produced back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 before adding three more on her back nine for her round of six-under.

“I just played well today, I played my game,” said Grechi. “My sister Carla is caddying for me this tournament, so I just want to enjoy it and have fun with her. That happened! I made some birdies; my long game was good and my short game was too.

“I changed a lot of things at the end of last year, it’s taken a long time to have to come together in a good way. I have made a lot of cuts but I didn’t play many times for the top-10 but I’m keeping confident about what I’m working on.”

South Africa’s Casandra Alexander and Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley sit one shot further back in a share of fourth place on five-under-par.

Alexander made her only bogey of the day on the 10th rolling in birdies on the first, fourth, fifth, 14th, 15th and 18th holes.

“A few more putts dropped for me today than what I have the past couple of weeks,” said the 24-year-old. “I’m hitting the ball really good, I’m happy with where the swing is at. I have just got to trust my lines and hit good shots.

“I feel like my time hasn’t come yet to win on the LET, but I have just got to be patient and that’s the hardest thing knowing that you have been in contention a few weeks this year and not finishing off.

“I don’t think I did anything wrong in those situations, I just think it wasn’t the right time for me and I hope this week it is.”

Rudgeley got off to a hot start with three birdies on the trot on holes 10, 11 and 12 before making another on 16.

The LET rookie made a bogey on the fourth but bounced back with birdies on six and eight for her round of 67.

Seven players are in a share of sixth place on four-under-par with defending champion Klara Davidson Spilkova alongside Austria’s Christine Wolf, English duo Gabriella Cowley and Eleanor Givens, Spain’s Emma Cabrera Bello, France’s Anne-Lise Caudal and Germany’s Sophie Witt.

The second round begins at 8am (local time) and there will be a cut to the top-60 professionals and ties after 36 holes.

View the full KPMG Women's Irish Open leaderboard here.